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Category Archives: refashion

Save the Dress!

Time for Portia Lawrie’s  The Refashioners 2018 challenge! This year we had to find a look/garment we loved and produce a version of it, by refashioning unloved/unworn items. I found lots of looks I loved but was scared off by the thought of trying to recreate. I actually started with a Dries Van Noten outfit, but shelved that after messing up the first piece.

Then, I came across this beauty from Save the Queen! I love the stark black/white/red colour combo, the sporty proportions, and the gorgeous playful penguin print (would love to get a hold of a few yards of THAT).

So, off to the thrift store… I knew it wouldn’t be easy to find the right print with enough fabric to make me a swingy shift dress shape – I’m not a petite woman. I was really hoping to find a maxi dress for extra yardage, but no luck.

Finally, I found a great dress with a strong graphic black/white print and it looked hardly worn. Also picked up a red shirt to cut the sleeves from. Everything was marked down further, so spent $7.75 total (including a pair of trousers for my son).

The Refashioners 2018Unfortunately, I couldn’t cut the whole dress out of the skirt panels, so I had to use part of the bodice which had shaped panels, but at least the busy print hid the seam lines.

I made the sleeves from the red shirt sleeves and the bottom of a black dress I’d previously chopped into tunic length. The trim was thrifted by a friend and gifted to me a while ago.

I’m not sure about the collar on me so I faced the neckline and just tacked the collar on for now. I didn’t want pearls and beads on my collar so cut up a press stud bracelet I made a few years ago and stitched on a few of those for an embellishment.


All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the result!




Flying by the Seat of Someone Else’s Pants

I was excited to join in with Portia’s therefashioners2017 this year. The hashtag was “suitsyou” – we had to take a suit and refashion into another garment or accessory (by October 31st).

Men's suit jacket

I was SO organized – bought a dark pinstripe suit from Goodwill weeks ago. Suddenly mid-October was here, so I got around to cutting into it.
After much stitching/swearing/trying on/unpicking/stitching/swearing/cutting …… get the picture……….I gave myself permission to surrender, and not feel bad about ditching the challenge this year.

Three days later –
I fought, and lost, the urge to just take a peek in the men’s section of Goodwill. Of course, I found a really nice checked suit, just waiting to come home with me.

Bonus: Using my amazing powers of deduction……..well, Google, and the name label conveniently sewn inside, I concluded the suit had been made for a local sportsman…surprising what you can pick up at Goodwill!


OK, time to get creating – need something to listen to – plumped for Jason Isbell. I decided to make a skirt, but it needed to be fast. Of course, Fit Athletic Man is in much better shape than me, so I couldn’t do a quick trousers to skirt conversion. I needed to add some panels in somehow to size up for Not-So-Fit Middle-Aged Woman.

I started with the trousers, retaining the “sides”, keeping the hip pockets, and back welt pockets, planning to just add front and back centre panels, like I did in the Getting Legless project. Realizing the silhouette could use a little more width at the hem, I inserted part of the sleeves into the side seams, leaving the cuff buttons in place as embellishment.

WP_20171031_15_22_14_Pro (2)

Oh no…..evening of October 29th, was going to spend hours sewing today, but spent a lot of the day taking my rescue dog to a fundraiser event at his foster home. Running out of time (but at least it was for a good reason)….I think I’m going to give up again.

October 30th – at work all day, at peace with my decision – pressure off, I’ll be more organized for next year’s challenge!

October 31st….OK, I have till 5pm pacific time (midnight UK time). Stitched in panel at centre back. What the hell am I going to do for an interesting front panel? I looked at all the pieces I had available…ooh, I like the jacket front with the two pockets!!

OK, chop and sew (and drink coffee). Right, it’s done. It sure isn’t perfectly sewn!

Oh, damn, need photos;

  • hmm, there’s only the dog and I home
  • I don’t own a selfie stick
  • Sheila, my dressform doesn’t wear my clothes very well – everything’s too big because she keeps losing weight (at least that’s what I like to believe is happening)

Bingo, just noticed my laptop takes photos on timer. I didn’t quite get them in focus, but they’ll have to do.

Next year, I’ll have it done by mid October (I’ll also be 20lbs lighter….yeah, yeah!!)